London-based healthcare and education specialists Avanti Architects has become the latest UK practice to open an office in Brazil.
Richard Barton, director at Avanti Architects, said: ‘I had been out to Brazil numerous times over the last two to three years. We were received positively by potential clients, but the message was “come back and see us when you’ve set up an office”.’
He added: ‘We were attracted by the fact that they still have an economy that is doing well and likely to continue doing well.’
It took us over six months to set up
On the potential of the Brazilian market for UK practices, Barton said: ‘Whereas a few years ago [Brazil] looked to the US for leads or inspiration, I get the impression they are now more interested in what is happening in Europe.
‘Brazil has a very European culture, and you feel more aligned to the business practices there, unlike China which is a totally different culture.’
However, Barton warned of the difficulties of operating in Brazil. ‘There are lots of pitfalls that will put people off,’ he said. ‘In the UK you can set up a company in a week. It took us over six months to go through that process of setting up and running an office in Brazil.’
He added: We wouldn’t have considered it if we hadn’t already had good contacts with Brazilian architects already in place.’